Charles River drowning victim identified as head coach of Simmons University crew team

Charles River drowning victim identified as head coach of Simmons University crew team
68-year-old rower dies after falling into Charles River

BOSTON — A 68-year-old man who drowned in the Charles River on Thursday has been identified as the head coach of the Simmons University crew team.

Nikolay Kurmakov of Brookline died after being pulled from the Charles River around 4 p.m. Thursday, the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday.

Police responded to a report of a distressed swimmer in the Charles River late Thursday afternoon. A witness told police they saw the man rowing and then pass out and fall into the water.

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Kurmakov was pulled from the water by the Newell Boathouse by Western Avenue and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, state police said.

The Simmons University community is mourning the loss of Kurmakov, a native of Ukraine.

“For nearly 30 years, Coach Kurmakov was a beloved coach, mentor and friend known for his tremendous work ethic and kind spirit,” Simmons University President Lynn Perry Wooten said in a statement.

Wooten said under Kurmakov’s leadership “Simmons' crew program grew and became one of the best in the region – achieving national rankings and earning medals at the New England Fours Championship and world-renowned Head of the Charles Regatta. Coach Kurmakov was also an active member of the Boston rowing community and continued to race in his free time.”

He moved to Boston at the age of 41 and became the head coach of the Simmons crew team, a position he cherished, Wooten said.

“We will miss Coach Kurmakov terribly,” she said.

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